Deputies shoot burglary suspect in northwest Harris County

August 3, 2012 3:02:38 PM PDT
A parents' nightmare -- you're home alone with your child, when someone breaks in. It happened to a woman in northwest Harris County Friday morning. It was her quick-thinking that likely kept her and her child safe.

Authorities say that mother was beyond scared. Hiding in a closet, she had called 911 and with her foot propped up against the door she was trying to keep the suspect from coming in. Authorities believe he thought the house was empty, and the closet was locked, so he moved on, eventually coming face to face with deputies before being shot multiple times.

The father and husband had little to say while locking up his home other than the face that he's glad his family is safe. Harris County Sheriff's deputies say his wife was home alone with the couple's infant son Friday morning when things turned scary.

One neighbor said, "I heard pow, pow, pow, pow!"

Another said, "I heard gunshots so I ducked."

Minutes before those gunshots, Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia says the mother noticed 21-year-old Matthew O'Hara in her backyard.

Sheriff Garcia said, "This individual used something like a brick to gain entry through a window."

So Garcia says that mom grabbed her son, ran to a closet and called 911 as O'Hara began loading the mother's Jeep SUV with stolen electronics. Investigators say as he was pulling away, two deputies were pulling up.

Sheriff Garcia said, "As our deputies approached they gave him apparent verbal commands."

Garcia says when O'Hara accelerated towards the deputies...

"They discharged their firearm," he said. "The suspect did suffer three wounds."

Witness Montavious Womack says he watched as O'Hara drove about a block away on flat tires.

He said, "I saw the Jeep come stop over there and he took off running."

Deputies say with three bullet wounds, O'Hara jumped over the gate and ran to his home on the next street, where he was arrested.

Neighbors say, when it comes to that protective mother, she did the right thing.

"I salute you, that was very brave," a neighbor said.

Investigators say O'Hara was shot in the thigh and upper arm, as well as suffering another grazing wound. His injuries are not life-threatening. They say he has prior convictions for assault and unlawful use of a criminal instrument. There's no word yet on what charges he may face from this incident.

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